MOSCOW, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Russia said Monday it would respect the will of Ukrainians in their presidential election, but warned Kiev against resuming a military operation in the country's southeastern regions.
"The fact that the vote was organized in many regions of Ukraine could probably be regarded as a generally positive fact. As the president (Vladimir Putin) has said, we will respect the will expressed by the Ukrainian people," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.
He said Moscow was ready for dialogue with Petro Poroshenko, the likely winning candidate, but said Russia "definitely does not need" mediators in talks with Kiev.
Exit polls show the "Chocolate King" Poroshenko won Sunday's presidential election with an absolute majority.
"The only thing, I would very much like his declared readiness for a dialogue not to be conditional on internal reservations, as he mentioned, in particular, that he will be ready for a dialogue with us with the mediation of the European Union and the United States," Lavrov said.
Meanwhile, the minister said not all Ukrainian presidential candidates could campaign properly.
"There were cases where the election campaign was inhibited, one of the candidates was not allowed to board a plane and so on. Many simply had to withdraw from the race, not least in fear of the physical consequences," the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.
The minister also warned Kiev against resuming its "so-called anti-terrorist operation" in southeastern Ukraine, saying that would be a "big mistake."
"We are hoping that Petro Poroshenko will do everything to prevent some extremist radial tendencies in Kiev toward the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, or on any other region of this country, from prevailing," he said.
Russia also urged the new Ukrainian authorities to "confirm or declare their adherence to the settlement roadmap suggested by the chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe."
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